Month: March 2019

Natural Hair Stories-Part One

by Desire’ Jackson-Crosby and Cynthia Ntinunu

What is hair? Is it just a follicle on the top of one’s head? Or is it a piece of you that evokes certain feelings? The natural hair journey is a unique experience for anyone who goes through it. For some it’s a straightforward journey and for others there’s a lot to unpack.

This project allowed 11 people to relive and share their natural hair journeys-from their struggles to their triumphs. Below is four of the 11 for part one of the natural hair stories series.

Uju Onochie

"I’m still on this journey."

Uju Onochie went to a predominantly white school for part of her childhood and she hated it. Being one of the few black kids in class, she remembered seeing the white girls’ hair and she’d play with it. Thoughts of “why can’t my hair be like this?” would circle her head as her fingers brushed through the girls’ hair. (Click the image above to read her full story)

Continue reading “Natural Hair Stories-Part One”

The Veins that Stopped Growing

By Lucia Solorzano

I have dreams of my veins spreading out
like the vines on my garden wall

And my blood,  bringing life
like the ocean 20 miles south

My skin, the protector
like the air and the clouds

The hairs on my body to keep me warm
like the small spring grown sprouts

My braid that swings about
like the old moss licked tree
that grew with me

and it’s leaves that fell
like the trees that fell
like the chemicals that spewed and spilled
and the smog that clouded our judgement
and brought us downhill

and now the vines can’t grow
and the ocean can’t glow

with the life and the warmth
of the trees and the sprouts

and my garden wall
the vines stopped growing
and all we do is watch the leaves fall.

We Change the World!: A Celebration of International Women’s Day

By Brie Bristol

AMHERST – On Thursday, Mar. 7, the University of Massachusetts Amherst celebrated women around the world with an “International Women’s Day Celebration.” The event, coordinated by the Center for Women & Community, was held in New Africa House, with special food, speakers, and performances from 4 to 6 p.m.  

“It’s empowerment in a positive sense,” said Sarah Danforth, educator advocate for CWC, when discussing how the event brings connections between women through networking. She discussed that she’s attended the event to have first hand “meaningful work [to be] connected on this campus.”

Open to all, the event hosted around  60 persons, including women of all ethnicities, a few men, and even children – most took turns coloring in pictures of their favorite inspirational women, such as Frida Kahlo.

Continue reading “We Change the World!: A Celebration of International Women’s Day”

Comic book creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez talks about Afro-Latina superhero La Borinqueña and social change in Puerto Rico

By Steven Turner-Parker

On Friday, Mar. 1, the Latinx American Cultural Center hosted graphic novelist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez for a talk about La Borinqueña, a comic book series he created that features one of the few Afro-Latina superheroes.

La Borinqueña stars Marisol Rios De La Luz, a Nuyorican (New York-born Puerto Rican) and Columbia University student who studies abroad for a semester at the University of Puerto Rico. While there, she explores the caves on the island and finds five crystals, all of which give La Luz individual powers such as superhuman strength, the power of flight, and control of the storms. With her newfound powers, La Luz adopts the superhero name La Borinquena, inspired by Puerto Rico’s national anthem, and works alongside the community to create social change.

As students walked into the LACC, they were greeted with a Puerto Rican flag and the alluring smell of Puerto Rican food prior to the talk. Later during his speech, Miranda-Rodriguez talked about the reasoning for hanging up the flag and serving food was to bring a home feeling to the event.

Continue reading “Comic book creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez talks about Afro-Latina superhero La Borinqueña and social change in Puerto Rico”

Thoughts from Fear and Curiosity: A Collection

By Nathalie Amazan

#1
Lately, presently feeling surreal
Something I am doing, or not?
How can I fix it, or not?
Is it the flower?
Is it the sleep?
Is it the isolation?
Are these explanations or the solution?
Interrogating myself, my care, my love
How do I relate
Or not?
Feeling my eyes lowering
tingling
forcing my body to relax, ease the tense of the day
or prepare for it
Take in the fatigue, the euphoria all at once
know that whatever you may call it
it is something felt
and that may be enough for now.


#2
Stop trying to write the universe.
Let the universe speak in all the ways
even the mundane can open up galaxies.


#3
The things we do not know are mysteries quite literally
If and only if one is in pursuit of Truth
If not,
Ignorance may very well be bliss but it will never fix the pain of tomorrow’s unknown
Or enjoy its beauty
I live to seek and I will surely find
Truth through the mysteries
and
Unfortunate events of life.

A poem by Nathalie Amazan. To see more, visit her blog: https://medium.com/@natamazan